What is OSA?
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.
Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.
Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a medical condition with a dental treatment option. For OSA to be treated by a dentist, a diagnosis of OSA must be obtained by a qualified physician after a face to face consultation and interpretation of an overnight sleep study.
Dentists are not licensed or qualified to diagnose OSA or distinguish it from primary snoring. Our office will work to collaborate with your medical provider to achieve the best possible result for your OSA.
Oral Appliances (OA’s) work to stabilize your lower jaw (mandible) which prevents airway collapse in the area behind your tongue and soft palate.
OA’s are indicated for Primary Snoring, Mild to Moderate OSA, and CPAP Intolerance. While OA’s are an effective treatment for OSA, no treatment is 100% effective all the time or as a stand alone therapy. Success is based on an individual assessment by a Qualified Dental Sleep Provider and is always multifactorial.